You may find it useful to follow some of these guidelines at home.
- Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be a part of their online life and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them.
- Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
- Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection , or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety settings you set are being applied.
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age , it is important to keep internet use in family areas so that you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to them to see.
- Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Remind them that once published online, it is there forever and anyone can change or share these images of them.
- Help your child to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends that they do not know offline. Explain to them what information is personal i.e. email address, school name, sports club.
- Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
For more information try some of these great sites!